India annihilate listless SL in three-and-a-half days

Sri Lanka batting, 1st innings (Sri Lanka won the toss and chose to bat first)
Batsmen Dismissal Runs 4s 6s Strike rate
S Samarawickrama caught Pujara, bowled Ishant 13 (15) 1 0 86.66
D Karunaratne lbw Ishant 51 (147) 6 0 34.69
L Thirimanne bowled Ashwin 9 (58) 0 0 15.51
A Mathews lbw Jadeja 10 (20) 2 0 50.00
D Chandimal lbw Ashwin 57 (122) 4 1 46.72
N Dickwella caught Ishant, bowled Jadeja 24 (30) 4 0 80.00
D Shanaka bowled Ashwin 2 (15) 0 0 13.33
D Perera lbw Jadeja 15 (21) 0 1 71.42
R Herath caught Rahane, bowled Ashwin 4 (23) 0 0 17.39
S Lakmal caught Saha, bowled Ishant 17 (25) 4 0 68.00
L Gamage not out 0 (0) 0 0 0.00
Extras: 3 (1 no-ball, 2 leg byes)
Sri Lanka’s total: 205/10 in 79.1 overs, at 2.58 runs per over
Fall of wickets: 20/1 (S Samarawickrama, 4.5), 44/2 (L Thirimanne, 24.6), 60/3 (A Mathews, 29.6), 122/4 (D Karunaratne, 50.6), 160/5 (N Dickwella, 60.6), 165/6 (D Shanaka, 65.2), 184/7 (D Perera, 70.4), 184/8 (D Chandimal, 71.3), 205/9 (S Lakmal, 78.6), 205/10 (R Herath, 79.1)
India bowling, 1st innings
Bowlers Overs Maidens Runs given Wickets Economy
I Sharma 14 3 37 3 2.64
U Yadav 16 4 43 0 2.68
R Ashwin 28.1 7 67 4 2.37
R Jadeja 21 4 56 3 2.66
India batting, 1st innings
Batsmen Dismissal Runs 4s 6s Strike rate
L Rahul bowled Gamage 7 (13) 1 0 53.84
M Vijay caught Perera, bowled Herath 128 (221) 11 1 57.91
C Pujara bowled Shanaka 143 (362) 14 0 39.50
V Kohli caught Thirimanne, bowled Perera 213 (267) 17 2 79.77
A Rahane caught Karunaratne, bowled Perera 2 (15) 0 0 13.33
R Sharma not out 102 (160) 8 1 63.75
R Ashwin bowled Perera 5 (14) 0 0 35.71
W Saha not out 1 (5) 0 0 20.00
Batsmen who didn’t bat: R Jadeja, I Sharma, U Yadav
Extras: 9 (1 wide, 4 leg byes, 4 byes)
India’s total: 610/6 dec. in 176.1 overs, at 3.46 runs per over
Fall of wickets: 7/1 (L Rahul, 3.5), 216/2 (M Vijay, 75.3), 399/3 (C Pujara, 124.5), 410/4 (A Rahane, 129.4), 583/5 (V Kohli, 169.5), 597/6 (R Ashwin, 173.5),
Sri Lanka bowling, 1st innings
Bowlers Overs Maidens Runs given Wickets Economy
S Lakmal 29 2 111 0 3.82
L Gamage 35 8 97 1 2.77
R Herath 39 11 81 1 2.07
D Shanaka 26.1 4 103 1 3.93
D Perera 45 2 202 3 4.08
D Karunaratne 2 0 8 0 4.00
Sri Lanka batting, 2nd innings (trail by 405 runs)
Batsmen Dismissal Runs 4s 6s Strike rate
S Samarawickrama bowled Ishant 0 (2) 0 0 0.00
D Karunaratne caught Vijay, bowled Jadeja 18 (45) 3 0 40.00
L Thirimanne caught Jadeja, bowled Umesh 23 (62) 3 0 37.09
A Mathews caught Rohit, bowled Jadeja 10 (32) 0 1 31.25
D Chandimal caught Ashwin, bowled Umesh 61 (82) 10 0 74.39
N Dickwella caught Kohli, bowled Ishant 4 (12) 0 0 33.33
D Shanaka caught Rahul, bowled Ashwin 17 (8) 1 2 212.50
D Perera lbw Ashwin 0 (1) 0 0 0.00
R Herath caught Rahane, bowled Ashwin 0 (2) 0 0 0.00
S Lakmal not out 31 (42) 2 1 73.80
L Gamage bowled Ashwin 0 (9) 0 0 0.00
Extras: 2 (2 leg byes)
Sri Lanka’s total: 166/10 in 49.3 overs, at 3.35 runs per over
Fall of wickets: 0/1 (S Samarawickrama, 0.2), 34/2 ( D Karunaratne, 15.2), 48/3 (L Thirimanne, 20.4), 68/4 (A Mathews, 25.2), 75/5 (N Dickwella, 30.5), 102/6 (D Shanaka, 33.3), 107/7 (D Perera, 35.1), 107/8 (R Herath, 35.3), 165/9 (D Chandimal, 46.5), 166/10 (R Ashwin, 49.3)
India bowling, 2nd innings
Bowlers Overs Maidens Runs given Wickets Economy
I Sharma 12 4 43 2 3.58
R Ashwin 17.3 4 63 4 3.60
R Jadeja 11 5 28 2 2.50
U Yadav 9 2 30 2 3.33

Man of the match: Virat Kohli, for scoring his fifth Test double hundred

Top scorer in the 2nd Test match:

Virat Kohli [213 (267); 17×4, 2×6]

What was the deciding factor?

India needed just over 10 sessions to secure an innings victory in the Nagpur Test match and thereby go 1-0 up in this three-Test series. The hosts won by an innings and 239 runs, which is their joint-biggest victory in a Test match.

Sri Lanka won an important toss on the first morning and, with India missing two of their premier fast bowlers (Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Mohammed Shami) and the Nagpur pitch being good for batting, had the perfect opportunity to post a total of about 400 in the first innings. But a combination of indisciplined batting from the Sri Lankan batsmen (who tried to play expansive strokes and failed to pick the line of the deliveries from the fast bowlers and spinners alike) and good bowling from the entire Indian bowling attack meant that the visitors didn’t harness the advantage of winning the toss. In fact, saying so is an understatement and Sri Lanka actually put themselves at a disadvantage by being bowled out for 205 on the first day (in 79.1 overs).

And the pitch at the VCA Stadium didn’t offer the level of lateral movement as the Eden Gardens pitch had last week, while the conditions weren’t in favour of the bowlers either. The sun shone and the small sprinkling of grass on the first morning by no means posed a threat. Therefore, Suranga Lakmal and co., who hadn’t been helped by their batsmen, couldn’t expect the pitch to be their friend. And though Lokesh Rahul fell early and cheaply on the first evening, centuries from four of the top six batsmen—Murali Vijay 128, Cheteshwar Pujara 143, Virat Kohli 213, and Rohit Sharma 102*—put India in a commanding position in this Test match. The home team’s batsmen made the most of the batsmen-friendly conditions to pile on the runs (India put up a mammoth 610/6 declared in their first innings), though we also need to reiterate that the Sri Lankan bowling attack was toothless in non-helpful conditions.

Towards the end of day three and on day four, with it having been under the sun for a length of time and after the ground staff had run the roller on it a couple of times, the nature of the pitch changed quite drastically. The cracks opened up and became a major factor in the Test match. Seeing those cracks on a good length and in the areas where the Indian bowlers will land their deliveries must have been discomforting for the Sri Lankan batsmen when they came out to bat in the second innings. And, although the cracks played their part in the dismissal of one or two batsmen, the Lankan batsmen played loose, reckless shots and brought about their own downfall. You couldn’t help but feel that the Sri Lankan batsmen didn’t believe in themselves when faced with a second-innings deficit of 405 runs.

Ravichandran Ashwin has now become the fastest to reach 300 Test wickets, taking only 54 Test matches to get to this landmark (Dennis Lillee achieved this feat in 56 Tests).

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